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Archive 2012 · San Francisco questions
  
 
Jack Kelley
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p.1 #1 · San Francisco questions


San Francisco shooters,

Can you help with the following?

1) If I set up a tripod in the city proper (as opposed to say, the Marin headlands), is anyone likely to chase me off?Thinking, for example, of Chinatown or the Ferry Building, and wondering if I'll need to shoot entirely hand-held or can make some tripod-supported longer exposures.

2) Any tips for shooting the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square? Is there neighborhood parking? Do you shoot from the grass? Tripod okay there? What's the approximate distance from the houses to the far side of the park? Any problem setting up high enough to shoot over the tops of the Painted Ladies and include plenty of cityscape in the frame? I see lots of those photos but it looks as if many may have been shot hand-held.

Thanks for any info you can share.




Jul 27, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Rags Hef
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p.1 #2 · San Francisco questions


1): I don't know of any photo restrictions in SF (the airport may be different).
Ferry Bldg tripod OK & get Cupids Bow.
Chinatown - if you use a tripod people will disappear. There are a lot of illegals who don't want their pic taken. But Portsmouth Sq is a great resource handheld. There's a lot of gambling (a lot) so stealth is good. I used a lap held 70/200 with a hotshoe bubble level & got shots I wouldn't have if I looked thru the viewfinder

2): Alamo Sq is tripod country for painted ladies and highrises







Jul 27, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #3 · San Francisco questions


The only place you cannot set up a tripod in SF is on the block where the Transamerica Pyramid stands. The block is owned by the building and security will chase you off. Set up across the street.

Parking is sparse at Alamo square. Timming is everything mornings can be foggy so you may be better off late in the day. You will shoot from the grass and I use my 70-200 on full frame. Plenty of room to back up not so good with a shorter lens as the houses will eventually block out the city if you move in to close. You want to be shooting from directly accross the street halfway up the grass and on the right side. Check out my zenfolio dare to be fun or bruce.sawle.com for some examples of shots of San Francisco.

Most of all enjoy your trip and enjoy the great food we have here.



Jul 27, 2012 at 10:46 PM
boingyman
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p.1 #4 · San Francisco questions


I see people with tripods all the time in the city, even in chinatown. In terms of public space as long as you're not blocking a really crowded sidewalk I don't see a problem with it.


Jul 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Jack Kelley
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p.1 #5 · San Francisco questions


Thanks all, for your good advice and beautiful images. Much appreciated.

I also just downloaded the "Shooting San Francisco" iPhone app, which looks like just the ticket to further guide me. Bruce, is that yours? (The cable car image on the app looks like a perfect match to one on your site.)



Jul 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #6 · San Francisco questions


Jack Kelley wrote:
Thanks all, for your good advice and beautiful images. Much appreciated.

I also just downloaded the "Shooting San Francisco" iPhone app, which looks like just the ticket to further guide me. Bruce, is that yours? (The cable car image on the app looks like a perfect match to one on your site.)



If the APP is Photographing San Francisco Digital field guide then it is my App. I have not seen the "Shooting San Francisco" App. I will try and find the App. Thanks



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:11 AM
 

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Jack Kelley
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p.1 #7 · San Francisco questions


Bruce Sawle wrote:
If the APP is Photographing San Francisco Digital field guide then it is my App. I have not seen the "Shooting San Francisco" App. I will try and find the App. Thanks


Yep. I typed the wrong name. It is "Photographing San Francisco - Digital Field Guide." Very cool, and very helpful. Thanks for that.



Jul 28, 2012 at 04:29 AM
the888account
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p.1 #8 · San Francisco questions


In response to #1) I've used a tripod a number of times in SF without issue, usually at night though. Usually spotted 1 or 2 other togs out and about as well with tripods.

Mostly recently the local SFPD even drove past me, thought I might have been busted, but nothing. Just looked, nodded and carried on rolling. Fair enough!




Jul 29, 2012 at 08:36 PM
nburwell
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p.1 #9 · San Francisco questions


Jack Kelley wrote:
2) Any tips for shooting the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square? Is there neighborhood parking? Do you shoot from the grass? Tripod okay there? What's the approximate distance from the houses to the far side of the park? Any problem setting up high enough to shoot over the tops of the Painted Ladies and include plenty of cityscape in the frame? I see lots of those photos but it looks as if many may have been shot hand-held.


When I went to SF a few years ago, I didn't rent a car, so I utilized the taxis to get to Alamo Square. There is street parking around the area, so I don't think you should have any problem with that. Tripod is completely fine. There were quite a few photographer's there already set-up when I arrived, so you will no encounter any issues with setting up your equipment.

SF is a fantastic city to photograph. Enjoy it and make the most of the experience!

-Nick





Jul 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Jack Kelley
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p.1 #10 · San Francisco questions


All good and helpful. Thank you.


Jul 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM
robertjm
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p.1 #11 · San Francisco questions


Not so much in the City, but out by the Golden Gate Bridge you might be harassed if they see you shooting with pro gear. A friend was shooting with a big white lens and they basically told him if he didn't either show them a $500 permit, or leave, he would be arrested.

Finally was able to explain that he wasn't selling the pictures, just taking pictures for himself.

Not saying this is the norm, but just explaining one of the issues someone had. My adage is to shoot and then worry about it when/if they ask questions.



Aug 25, 2012 at 05:19 AM





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